Employee Spotlight: Mike Strauch

By Lauren Murray — Thursday, October 12th, 2017 at 11:00am

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As Lead Product Engineer, Mike does the core product development for Cascade CMS, which includes writing code, reviewing code, QAing new features and bug fixes.

Let’s learn a little more about Mike!

How did you first learn about Hannon Hill?

I believe it was via a job listing on ComputerJobs.com. I’d graduated from Georgia Tech a few months previous and had started my job hunt after chilling out for a month or two. I think David Cummings reached out to me after I posted my resume on ComputerJobs. I don’t think I have access to that email account anymore, but it’d be fun to go back and read it!

How has Hannon Hill changed since you started?

Well, back in my day, Hannon Hill had a single product, a single support team member, the founder was also the CEO. It was not unheard of for features to be added to Cascade that were requested by one or only a few clients. There was no cloud infrastructure. I think we managed our own Exchange email server and ALL dev infrastructure was managed in-house (database servers, app servers, etc). We used to have an old Solaris machine in a closet somewhere that we used for cross-platform testing.  Who? What? Solaris?

Macbook Pros weren’t a thing back then. A number of our developers used Windows, including me!  The folks developing on OSX were using Mac Pro towers.

There was no continuous integration. Everything was built and tested locally by engineers as they were developing. The app installers were also built locally just on somebody’s dev machine and then uploaded to our web server directly.

Our development process has changed approximately 734 times since I started, mostly for the better.

People eating at a table

What do you find most challenging about working at Hannon Hill?

Keeping up with everything that’s happening and ensuring the highest priority tasks are getting the attention they require. And to go along with that, deciding when a high priority task doesn’t need my attention, specifically, butcan be handled by another member of the team. In the past with a smaller team, fewer clients, and fewer concurrent projects, it was fairly easy to maintain awareness of all major product-related projects and hiccups and to also be actively involved in all of those things.

What is your proudest moment at Hannon Hill?

My most recent proudest moment I’d say is the finishing and releasing of Cascade 8. It was a monumental project for everyone involved, a project that rivaled the first project I worked on as a member of the Cascade engineering team, which was a back-end rewrite for Cascade 5.0. 

And now for some fun questions…

What is your hidden talent?

It can’t be a hidden talent if I reveal what it is!  Though, I think a lot of my talents are hidden to most people, even those who have known me for a while.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Marine biologist, maybe?  Although that may have just been the trendy thing to say to sound cool and sophisticated. I likely wanted to be everything. A problem I still struggle with today!  Of course, I could probably say rock star!

Young child holding a baby

What is the best concert you've ever been to?

Depends on what you mean by best. I saw Phish one time and was blown away by how involved the crowd was. Like, the second Phish started playing it was a huge dance party. The only person not dancing was me. Every nerd and hippie in the place was into it. Nobody was just chilling and doing the head bob. I felt pretty embarrassed. I knew little of Phish at the time, just that they have quite a few hardcore fans.

In terms of performance quality by the artist/musicians themselves, I’d say some of the Rodrigo y Gabriela shows I’ve been to have been solid.

Then there was that one time I went to see Rage Against the Machine featuring Wu-Tang Clan as a 14(?)-year-old.

Man standing on cliff

If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It’d have to be a really big beer. I mean, if there’s only one of them, right?  Like a stadium-sized beer. Do they make those?  I don’t know how’d they keep it fresh though. Freeze it maybe?  Can you freeze beer?

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Hannon Hill Corporation

3423 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 520
Atlanta, GA 30305

Phone: 678.904.6900
Toll Free: 1.800.407.3540
Fax: 678.904.6901

info@hannonhill.com

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